This post is to catch up on my thoughts for the past 3 episodes and then from now on I'll simply be making similar short posts right after the episodes air to do my little reviews. Sorry to take the pretty away, but I end up posting all the caps from each episode anyway, so you're really not missing out on them.
7x04 "Defending Your Life"
It is a little surprising that while Sam's observant enough of Dean to notice his increase in drinking, it took Bobby to point out Dean's guilt and thus, endangered status from Osiris. You'd think Sam would know his brother is the poster child for guilt. Every person he's around is his responsibility, every wrongful death a scar on his soul.
Of course, Dean's still cracking the odd joke (License To Kill), but in reality you can tell the secret he's keeping from Sam about killing Amy is effecting everything he does and souring his overall mood. It's rare that Dean is so unenthusiastic about doing the job.
Cute how Dean had to psych himself up for hooking up with the bartender. Guess he hasn't been with a woman since Lisa, but who would've ever guessed the great Dean Winchester would be so nervous?
I liked how easily Sam went into lawyer mode to defend Dean - like he was born to do it, even though some of his cues came from TV. :P
The flashbacks during the courtroom scenes were interesting. At first I thought they were just for our benefit, as a reminder for the audience, but then I realized Dean (and maybe Sam & Jo as well) were actually being shown those images by Osiris. This is very evident after Dean sees various instances that he feels guilty for.
The little scene with the rabbi catching Sam stealing the ram's horn was kinda awkward. Why even have something like that if you're not going to expand on it and show more of how he got out of there? Otherwise it's not really necessary for someone to even come in at that moment.
The whole scene between Dean and Jo was so good. Jo pointing out how much crap Dean carries around that he doesn't need to, but Dean admitting that it's mostly what he is. It still hurts that he sees himself like this, as unworthy of being saved. Nobody else considers him that way, but it's so ingrained in Dean's psyche that I don't think he'll ever be convinced otherwise. Dean groups Jo and Sam as kids but doesn't include himself as ever being in that category because "Hunters are never kids." But he had 4 years of normal childhood. Typical for Dean to not see himself like that, despite the memories he clearly has of once being normal ("Dark Side Of The Moon").
While Dean is keeping a secret from Sam, Sam is kinda doing the same thing with Dean. He claims to be happy by the episode's end, but I'm not buying it. He's putting up this front like he's okay, like the hallucinations aren't a problem, but the evidence at the beginning of the episode clearly show otherwise. No doubt he doesn't want to burden Dean with anymore of his problems, but as usual the boys are lying to each other to protect one another. *sigh*
7x05 "Shut up, Dr. Phil"
This episode will always be special to me because I was able to watch them film several of the scenes in Fort Langley after VanCon this August. :D
The deaths were pretty vicious and gruesome and it's nice to see the show push the envelope on the Ewww-meter every now and then. "Hearts in my cupcakes!!!" LOL Awesome! :P
Dean, of course is still drinking like crazy and it hasn't escaped Sam's attention, but every time he tries to get Dean to talk it ends in failure. I loved the nightmare Dean had at the beginning of the hour, only because that kind of reaction (sitting up panting & in a cold sweat) was something I'd envisioned Dean having with his nightmares of hell back in Season 4. Instead we got little nightmares where he just woke up a little flustered. So, this begs the question - why the big difference? Why weren't his hell dreams so much more dramatic? Maybe the reason is because this dream was more about guilt and worry. He sees Cas going into the water, Sam out of control with the gun in the warehouse, and himself killing Amy. There's a lot on Dean's mind right now, a lot of heavy burdens and the secret he's keeping from Sam.
I will point out that I'm one of the few that had never heard of the episodes guest stars before. I never watched Buffy and I thought Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters did fine here. My one complaint would be the scene w/Charisma as the paintings for her show start to melt. Something about that scene bothers me. Maybe it's the lack of concern on her part for the sudden death of her friend or possibly a little over-acting on Charisma's part. But that's the only scene I find fault in. Everything else was fine and I liked their scenes together.
Always fun to see the boys go crashing into things or be attacked. *g* The bees around Dean were a nice touch, but when they went to the wide shot with Maggie and Don in the foreground I was bothered by how in focus the bees were when Dean was all blurry. It's a technical complaint, but it struck me as off. Just pointed out how they were CGI bees and not the real deal.
Chet the leviathan finally catches up to the boys in their motel room, but Don comes in and saves the day. Good timing there. Thing that bugs me is when he asks them what Chet is (with the black goo leaking out of him) that Sam says they don't know. Wha???? Um. How can they not know when they know the Levis are out there and they leak black goo???? Makes no sense whatsoever.
As the boys head off to meet w/Bobby & put Chet in a hole Sam tries to get Dean to open up once again. Naturally, Dean blows it off, only saying that he feels responsible for everything because that's just who he is and then brings up some absurd examples. Sam's left frustrated and lets it go...again. *sigh* I share your frustration, Sam. Dean can't keep this stuff bottled up inside forever. It's eating away and eventually he's going to pop. The longer he keeps Amy's death from Sam the worse it's going to be when he does find out. And it turns out to be quite soon as we learn with the next eppy.
7x06 "Slash Fiction"
I was really excited about this eppy based on the description and promo alone and I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. :D
Twice the boys, Levi-versions of them being all badass out in the world? I am SO there! *glees* Jensen & Jared did a great job of playing the duel roles. There was never any mistaking which versions of Sam and Dean we were seeing.
It was great to bring Jodie Mills back and I loved the developing relationship between her and Bobby. Awwww....they're so cute! Please don't kill her off, show! Sure, you can question why she would show up and seemingly to just cook and clean, but hey, she found the ingredient that effects the Levis! Who would've ever guessed that common Borax would be toxic to them? And Bobby finally got to kiss a woman! It's about time Bobby got someone in is life again.
With their Levi doubles going around killing people from town to town, the boys have to go off the grid and seek help from Bobby's friend, Frank. I like this dude. Can we bring him back in a future ep? Frank takes no guff from the boys and no prisoners as he swiftly gives them new aliases (no more rock stars) and breaks Sam's laptop (ouch - hope there wasn't anything important on there). The boys even have to give up the Impala! *gasp* Poor Dean is not happy about this.
Dean: Nobody puts baby in a corner!
Sam: You know that's a line from...
Dean: Swayze movie! Swayze always gets a pass!
Love the bit where he whips out his knife and cuts down the My Little Pony from the rear view mirror. Made me think of Jensen flashing out his knife at the VanCon Sunday breakfast this year. Heehee!
Nice twist to the Levi versions of Sam & Dean revisiting all the places the boys did jobs after Dean got Sam at Stanford. And it's equally cool that just as the shapeshifter in S1's "Skin" did, the Levis can access all the memories & knowledge of the person they double. The cool thing for us, of course, is that this usually means we get to learn some cool new info. about our favorite characters that we might not pick up any other way.
Love the bit at the police station where the boys meet up with their dopplegangers. Jensen rocked playing Levi Dean. His cool, detached demeanor towards Sam was chilling and so well done. The total glee at telling Sam about Dean killing Amy. As expected, Sam is more than pissed by the time real Dean comes in and hacks off the head of his counterpart.
Meanwhile, we finally meet the Levi-Boss, Dick Roman. Crowley reappears as well, to make his proposal which is soundly knocked down by Roman who considers demons as lower than humans.
By the end of the eppy Sam can't stand to even be around Dean and reveals that he knows about Amy. Dean apologizes, but Sam goes off without him. *sigh* It's tough to see the boys separate again because it never solves anything. I can understand Sam's upset over Dean's lie, but since when has running away from the problem ever been the answer? Plus, it's the childish way out. He even admitted back in Season 5 that he was wrong to run away all the times in the past. Dean doesn't even try to stop him at this point. Sure, it would've been so much better if Dean had actually spilled the beans himself, but at least it's out there now. Hopefully they can start to talk it all out and rebuild things yet again.